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Climatic Change

, Volume 107, Issue 1–2, pp 129–146 | Cite as

Assessment of sea level rise impacts on human population and real property in the Florida Keys

  • Keqi Zhang
  • John Dittmar
  • Michael Ross
  • Chris Bergh
Article

Abstract

The potential impacts of sea level rise (SLR) on 95% of the land areas of the Florida Keys were estimated through analysis of a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) measurements in a geographic information system. The topographic detail of the LiDAR DEM allowed projections of land, population, and property inundation in 0.15 m increments across a broad range of SLR scenarios for the next century. The results showed that a 0.6 m SLR by 2100 would inundate about 70% of the total land surface, but smaller percentages of the population (17%) and real property (12%). A 1.5 m rise in sea level during the same period would inundate 91% of the land surface, 71% of the population and 68% of property in the study area. Comparison of inundation dynamics indicates that the Lower Florida Keys are more susceptible to SLR than the Upper Florida Keys. The inundation dynamics exhibit non-linear behavior and demonstrate tipping points in inundation processes beyond which the inundation of land, population, and property speeds up. Acceleration of SLR will amplify the non-linear inundation, causing tipping points to be reached sooner.

Keywords

Monroe County Hypsometric Curve Inundation Process LiDAR Digital Elevation Model Airborne Light Detection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keqi Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Dittmar
    • 1
  • Michael Ross
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chris Bergh
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth and EnvironmentFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.International Hurricane Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  4. 4.The Nature Conservancy-Florida KeysSummerland KeyUSA

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